Meet eco-mom Julie Cottle. She's a natural therapist who lives in Sydney, Australia, with her three boys and two chooks. Julie specilizes in natural fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and she even maintains a website, www.naturaltransition.com to support and educate mothers worldwide. Here's what Julie has to say about personal responsibilities, trusting nature and living car-free.
JS: What inspired you to go green?
JC: I have always been pretty green at heart. I grew up in a really beautiful valley that is scared with open cut coal mines and littered with ugly power stations. I remember picking my Dad up from work one day and being moved to tears by the site of the dirty big black hole cut into the beautiful green rolling hills. I realized pretty early on that although the industry employed almost everyone I knew, it had destroyed a beautiful part of world, and I didn’t want to contribute to it. As I got older I became aware of the impact of humanity on our environment and felt a personal responsibility to live with awareness of this and to minimize it where possible.
JS: How do you and your family go green?
JC: When I studied natural therapies, I became more aware of the importance of working with nature and trusting the natural order of things. Both the human body and our natural environment just work if you give it what it needs and don’t mess with it. Our family is not as green as I would like, and I know we have a long way to go, but I think we do pretty well for city dwellers.
We don’t have a car, we have set ourselves up so that home, work and school are easily accessible by public transport. We holiday in places that we can get to by train or bus and do lots of walking.
We consider how our food is grown and where it comes from when buying it. We have a mostly vegetarian diet, and if we do eat meat we choose free-range. We usually grow some of our own vegetables, though this year we haven’t planted our garden due to our new baby. Our fresh fruit and veg is grown reasonably locally and comes straight from the farmer's markets. It is delivered in a cardboard box with no plastic bags or packaging. I do try for organic where possible and always choose products that have the least packaging and avoid plastic where I can. Our lovely chickens are our beautiful pets and they give us the most delicious fresh organic eggs and nutrient-rich fertilizer for our garden.
There are many other little things we do to be a consciously green family. We use cloth diapers, breastfeed, use natural medicines, compost our kitchen scraps and take great pride in having much more recycling than land fill rubbish. We conserve water and electricity where we can, and I make my own cleaning products using natural environmentally friendly ingredients.
JS: What eco-innovation or invention would make your life easier?
JC: I would have to say that a truly eco-friendly car would be my pick for the invention that would make life easier. Though we manage quite well without a car, we look forward to the day that we can have one that doesn’t burn fossil fuels or food sources to get us around. We’re getting closer, but we’re not there yet.